The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continued to heat up the top of the box office, comfortably holding on to the number one spot. The dystopian blockbuster fell 46%, once previews are removed, to £5.5m and after 11 days in cinemas has an imposing cume of £21.7m. That figure places Catching Fire just £3m behind the first Hunger Games’ £24m final total and it now looks almost certain to reach £30m.
Thor: The Dark World dealt a hammer blow to all other contenders this weekend, comfortably taking the top spot. The Marvel sequel debuted with a god-like £8.7m, which includes £3.1m from Wednesday and Thursday previews. The £5.6m Friday to Sunday total is the seventh highest of the year, ahead of The Hangover Part III (£4.9m) and behind Star Trek Into Darkness (£6.9m).
The first Thor opened with £5.4m (including £2.3m from previews) in 2011 and finished on £14m, so Thor: The Dark World is already well over half way to overhauling that total. Over 50% of Thor: The Dark World’s gross was from 3D presentations.
The glitz and glamour of a film premiere can generate a euphoric atmosphere. Star struck onlookers with their pens and posters mix with the geeks and the media for a glimpse of the Hollywood elite as those lucky enough to hold a ticket are herded towards escalators, shuffling awkwardly down a red carpet that isn’t meant for them. I had been like Banner and The Hulk all day, trying to keep my excitement contained for a full 8 hours. I was so focused on seeing the heroes on screen I barely had time to notice them right in front of me as we were ushered along. I could have touched Scarlett Johansson. COULD have. But then I wouldn’t have been allowed in to watch the movie. Office hype was at fever-pitch due to news that she went ‘au naturel’ underneath that signature Black Widow cat suit. I was torn, but I made my choice and settled for a photo. She has a very photogenic shoulder and back (see below for proof). A few escalators later and we’re seated in the screen, watching the red carpet show unfold as Jonafon Woss patters with the celebrities one-by-one. It isn’t long before the film rolls, and we all look fetching in our Hulk/Iron Man/Thor/Captain America themed 3D Glasses.
For the third weekend in a row Thor remained on top of the weekend chart, the superhero film managed to fight off competition on both sides of the Atlantic to remain triumphant.
Fast & Furious 5 maintained its second place position with new opener Attack the Block reaching third place grossing a solid £837K in its debut weekend (excluding previews), beating recent 15-rated Brit flicks Anuvahood (£537K) and Four Lions (£609K).
Across the pond, business in the US remained strong, down just -3% YoY. Thor continued to hold tight with a total box office to date now at $119.5m. Beating expectations, Bridesmaids opened to number two with a great result of $26.2m. This is the best start for an R-rated comedy since Due Date ($32.7m) last November and is the best opening for producer Judd Apatow since Step Brothers ($30.9m) back in 2008. With great reviews and hype (dubbed as the female Hangover), this is a great career boost for Kristen Wiig, who both stars in and co-wrote the movie. Its audience was 67% female and 63% aged over 30.
Business over the weekend was strong with the top 15 films generating a combined £12.8m, up +22% on Easter’s bank holiday weekend.
Marvel’s hammer-wielding comic book character Thor jumped straight in at the top spot beating off stiff competition to become king of the box office. The latest instalment from the Marvel franchise preformed well opening to a solid £5.4m in its debut weekend. Audiences were also treated to a 2 minute clip from the eagerly awaited The Avengers, in which Thor stars alongside other iconic Marvel characters.
Fast & Furious 5 held well in its second weekend coming in at number 2. With box office to date totaling £11.2m, its only a matter of days before it speeds past Fast & Furious 4 (£13.7m) to become the top grossing movie in the franchise to date.
On its tail and in third place was new release Insidious. From the creators of horror franchises Paranormal Activity and Saw, the micro-budgeted horror has performed incredibly well in the UK opening to £1.4m.
In the US Fast & Furious 5 opened to an amazing $86.2m. Not only has it more than doubled Rio’s $39.2m to become the biggest opening of 2011 to date, its beaten Fast & Furious 4′s $71m debut to be the biggest opening result of the franchise. It’s also the biggest opening ever for its distributor Universal!